of America Marathon
A change in date and a change in the course were the principal features of the 23rd annual Heart of America Marathon. Our CTC doctor members convinced us to move away
from the heat and humidity of Labor Day, therefore, we switched to the October date. We then decided to go for a Faurot Field finish so that required a complete reŽmeasurement of the course. Basically the first six miles were completely altered, however, the 17 mile loop through southern Boone County was left unchanged. Easley Hill was still there, the difference being that it came at about the 15-mile point rather than at 13 miles. The change in dates meant a change in the weather conditions. For the first time ever the temperature was below 50 degrees at the start, but never before had it been so windy over the first nine miles and that had a decided effect on performances.
All these changes had no effect whatsoever in determining the first three places. Jon Herbert, Bob O'Connell and Robert Steven Cline finished 1-2-3 just as they did last year. Herbert pressed the issue from the outset, building a sizable lead even in the very first mile, developing almost a 150 yard advantage by mile two and steadily increasing the
margin until about the 23-mile mark. From that point on it was a struggle for Herbert, apparently feeling the effects of five marathons this year, including Pike"s Peak the middle of August. O'Connell had moved into second place at five miles or so and at that 23-mile mark he was a good five minutes out of first. But he was moving at a solid sub-6:00 pace and Herbert was beginning to slow. He slowed markedly over the last mile and it became a matter of his hanging on. He did and O'Connell ran out of time, although he covered the last five miles, 385 yards in 30:48 while Herbert covered the same distance in 33:45. Cline was comfortably in third most of the race. This gives Cline a second, two thirds and a fifth
over the last four years.
Liz Bulman shattered the women's record with a magnificent 3:00:07, well under the 3:07:17 posted by Wendy Thomas last year. Thomas was on hand to see her record broken (and to see husband Steve Thomas and brother Joe Meyer run), but was unable to contest the women's title since she is some eight months pregnant.
Bill Fox, a new 40-year-old, ran the second fastest race by one so old, beating Dick Hessler's former second fastest mark by 33 seconds. Lou Fritz, now age 39, was back for the 18th year in a row with his usual fine performance and strong finish, his second half being 3:17 faster than his first. And, it is much more difficult to turn that second half faster than the first with Easley Hill in the second half due to the course change.
A couple of other runners who stormed over the last half were Frank Curotto and Norm Stebbins. In fact, Curotto ran the second half faster than anybody: 1:18:33, one second faster than 0' Connell, except for Cline who covered it in 1:17:52. Stebbins was five minutes faster over that last half.
Joe Marks gave a testimonial for two months of rest and a 15-day crash program. Marks had written off HOA because of his foot injury and lack of running for two months. However,
with 15 days to go he began testing himself, found that he was ok, so he began his 15-day rush to the start of HOA. He obviously did quite well, almost climbing up the back of Dick Hessler.
Howard Calkin, the doctor from Oregon, MO, became the oldest HOA finisher at age 71.
Dan Hoxworth won the Dave Schulte Award for Improved Performance with his 2:42:04 compared with the 3:26:27 he had
in 1977 when he was age 18.